Posts from the “Quotations” Category

Elegy for al-Hussain ibn ‘Alī on ‘Āshūrā’, 391 A.H

Posted on October 19, 2019

  HISTORICAL CONTEXT Who is Hussain and what happened on Ashura? What happened after the Tragedy of Karbala?   These are the campsites of al-Ghamim so call to them, And after long restraint shed lavish tears. If you owe the trace-signs a debt, now pay it; If you’ve ransomed your heart’s blood to the ruined abodes, redeem it now. O, has a band of riders looking down from its highlands Quenched yet their burning passion? [Look! There is] a drainage trench curving like a bow, Before which stand black-cheeked [women], heirs to its ashes, And the place where the tent-ropes were tied, the place where [once] the young braves sat— All the tribe’s firebrands are now extinguished except for them—, And the place where…

thoreau, on social media

Posted on September 28, 2018

“Perhaps I am more than usually jealous with respect to my freedom. […] When our life ceases to be inward and private, conversation degenerates into mere gossip. We rarely meet a man who can tell us any news which he has not read in a newspaper, or been told by his neighbor; and, for the most part, the only difference between us and our fellow is that he has seen the newspaper, or been out to tea, and we have not. In proportion as our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to the post-office. You may depend on it, that the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters, proud of his extensive correspondence, has not heard from…

gone writing

Posted on November 9, 2017

“Why do you never find anything written about that idiosyncratic thought you advert to, about your fascination with something no one else understands? Because it is up to you. There is something you find interesting, for a reason hard to explain. It is hard to explain because you have never read it on any page; there you begin. you were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment. Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon? What could you say to a dying person that would not enrage by…

“carry on”

Posted on December 22, 2016

It’s easy to fight when everything’s right, and you’re mad with the thrill and the glory; it’s easy to cheer when victory’s near, and wallow in fields that are gory. it’s a different song when everything’s wrong, when you’re feeling infernally mortal; when it’s ten against one, and hope there is none, buck up, little soldier, and chortle:   Carry on! Carry on! There isn’t much punch in your blow. You’re glaring and staring and hitting out blind; you’re muddy and bloody, but never you mind. Carry on! Carry on! You haven’t the ghost of a show. It’s looking like death, but while you’ve a breath, Carry on, my son! Carry on!   And so in the strife of the battle of life it’s…

“the art of disappearing”

Posted on September 6, 2016

When they say Don’t I know you? say no.   When they invite you to the party remember what parties are like before answering. Someone telling you in a loud voice they once wrote a poem. Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate. Then reply.   If they say We should get together say why?   It’s not that you don’t love them anymore. You’re trying to remember something too important to forget. Trees. The monastery bell at twilight. Tell them you have a new project. It will never be finished.   When someone recognizes you in a grocery store nod briefly and become a cabbage. When someone you haven’t seen in ten years appears at the door, don’t start singing him all your…

such a woman

Posted on November 11, 2015

“…They feel that Hijab shall bring down the standard of their beauty. What a strange meaning of beauty! What is beauty? Where is its realm?…In your own environment, your own society, there are innumerable curtains, which have been drawn on the beauty of your being. Why don’t you see these curtains? Who are you? In society, you adapt yourself according to the judgement of the society. Within your work environs, you accept the behavior, the type of dress, the conditions of concealment prevalent in your environment. Throughout your life, each place, every moment, each incident, every event throws a new curtain on your personality – the curtain of class, the curtain of shape, the curtain of status, the curtain of reputation, and the curtain…